Cranberry Sauce

FullSizeRenderThanksgiving isn’t the same without cranberry sauce. We didn’t grow up with a sacred family recipe but cranberry sauce was always served with the turkey and it was never from a can. It’s just that one thing you can’t do without, especially for leftovers, which I would argue, are almost as good as the main meal! My mum is actually a really amazing cook and is the queen of adding her own touch to recipes and making them a million times better. You can find my post using mum’s recipe HERE.

I don’t like overly sugary anything but cranberry sauce is one that can get sweet real quick. If you look at the ocean spray recipe, which is the base that everyone seems to use but some people like to add orange zest, currants, cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice as well. There are also many different ways that you can use up extra cranberry sauce if you have any, Besides freezing it, you can make cranberry muffins, use it as a compote on top of brie, make cranberry tarts, oatmeal bars, mix up some cranberry pancakes, add it to your yogurt in thee morning or even make a fruit salsa.

Cooking for Thanksgiving is one of my ultimate favorite cooking times of the entire year! We travel to visit family and usually don’t have the ability to cook for 11 people and we love it! We wind up cooking the entire feast and even with double ovens, a 6 top gas range and not to boast but there is also a warming drawer to use, we are still tight on cooking space. We’re cooking with the kiddies so I made a little update to mom’s recipe and did without the Grand Marnier but I assure you, it’s still completely delicious.

This is one of those dishes, along with stuffing and pies, that can be made ahead of time and is actually almost better when it’s made ahead of time.

Cranberry Sauce
Prep & Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield:  2 1/4 cups

1/2 c sugar
1 c water (can be cut or completely replaced with orange juice)
4 c fresh cranberries (equal to one 12 oz package)

Rinse the cranberries and pick out/discard any damaged or bruised cranberries. In a tall soup pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar.

Add the cranberries to the pot and let them boil for a minute or two. Turn the head down and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst. You’ll hear them pop, which is why the tall pot comes in handy.

Cranberry Sauce {A Byte of Life}
Cranberry Sauce {A Byte of Life}
Cranberry Sauce {A Byte of Life}
Cranberry Sauce from A Byte of Life blog













Remove the pot from heat and let it cool completely at room temperature. At this point the sauce is done and you can then transfer to a bowl to chill in the refrigerator. Note that the cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.

Some people like adding raisins or currants, or even blueberries for added sweetness. You can also add holiday spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.

Mum’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

FullSizeRender (1)Has anyone else just had the realization that Christmas is just one short month away? You can’t miss the signs, decorations are at every turn, the music is in every store. We can’t deny it any longer folks, the holidays are here! Each year I have conversations with friends and family about how we all have so much “stuff” and how hard it is to shop for everyone on the Christmas list. Isn’t there a one stop shop for people that don’t require specific or multiple presents? Yes, it’s called anything homemade. As someone who is obsessed with homemade/DIY and  loves to cook I’ve tried to make the majority of my Christmas presents the past few years and it’s been fun! One year I made scarves for everyone, another year I hand stamped note cards, another year I did cookies in a jar. It gets a little tough around the holidays to devote time to making presents so it’s a great idea to get started thinking about projects like this in October but with the work schedule this year I’ve spent most weekends sleeping, cooking, cleaning or catching up on the ever growing to-do list.

Well, this weekend has been a much needed change of pace lounging in pajamas, sleeping in, leaving the house only to play in the snow, playing games and watching Christmas movies all day long and munching on leftovers. It’s been divine. It’s also given me a bit of time to write which is always relaxing. Our Thanksgiving feast this year was just off the charts amazing, and it was actually pretty manageable, as manageable as an 18 pound turkey and homemade pies can be. I’m usually a protein gal, hands down. First thing on my plate will always be an inhuman amount of whatever protein is served except one amazing day a year that we call Thanksgiving. When my mum’s amazing Thanksgiving stuffing and Cranberry sauce are on the table all bets are off. Turkey is only the transportation vessel for the amazing cranberry sauce to reach my mouth. I talk more about the amazing stuffing in my blog post here but this post is about the cranberry sauce so let’s stay focused.

You can throw it in some toasted quinoa with a slice of turkey for a paleo leftovers snack. Besides using it up in leftovers, there are so many things you can do with this sauce that don’t require turkey. It makes a great spread for a slice of toast, or use it as a compote on some pork chops. You can bake jam filled butter cookies. for a tasty snack. The options are endless!

Mum’s Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce
Prep Time:      |Cook time:
This recipe is for a single batch, but we usually double it for Thanksgiving 

1 1lb bag of organic fresh cranberries
1 large orange, juiced with some zest
3/4 c organic sugar
1 tbsp Grand Marnier

Place all ingredients in a pot and cook over medium-low heat (you don’t want to burn the sugar) and simmer until you hear the cranberries popping. I like my cranberry sauce a little chunkier so I turn off the heat when about half the cranberries are still in tact but you can cook until all the cranberries are dissolved if you like!